Theo Ratliff to the Lakers Makes the NBA’s Best Front Line Even Better

The Los Angeles Lakers may not be able to sign Tracy McGrady, and Chris Paul may be out of reach, but the recently announced signings of center Theo Ratliff and forward Matt Barnes make the Lakers' offseason a rousing success.

Ratliff makes the NBA's best front court even deeper, and along with his six foot eleven size comes the reputation of a feared shot-blocker and a decent rebounder as well.

The Lakers' starting front court of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol was already arguably the biggest and most talented in the league, and with players like Lamar Odom, Ratliff, and DJ Mbenga coming off the bench, what other team can match their size and skill?

Barnes will add to the dilemma of opponents because his defensive prowess from the forward position serves as the perfect complement for starter Ron Artest.

Ratliff is 37 years old, but age should not be much of a concern since his time on the court will be limited, and since the Lakers expect no offensive contributions from him, his sole focus will be to improve on his career numbers of 2.4 blocks per game.

The Lakers may be deeper in the front court than at any other time during coach Phil Jackson's tenure, and if Los Angeles can manage to resign Shannon Brown they don't look too bad in the back court either.

The Miami Heat made all of the headlines by adding LeBron James and Chris Bosh to a roster which already includes Dwyane Wade, but the Lakers have quietly put together a team that has the potential to be one of Jackson's very best.

Although the Lakers will have five guards on the roster, who are all competent ball-handlers, assuming Brown resigns, the front court is without question the strength of the Lakers' team.

The same was true last season, but injuries to Gasol and Bynum meant Odom had to play extended minutes, and after him there was not much front court depth left on the bench.

Not this seaso...

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